NAIA Michigan College Season Breakdown

NAIA Michigan College Season Breakdown

NAIA Michigan College Season Breakdown

NAIA – Men’s

The NAIA teams in Michigan are some of the best in the country. Starting off the preseason polls, Aquinas (2nd) and Cornerstone (11th) were both ranked in the top 11 nationally. Cornerstone had shown considerable improvement by mid-season and inturn made their way into the top 5 nationally (4th), with Aquinas still holding onto the 2nd position. At the last ranking of the season that is put out before the national meet, Cornerstone, lead by standout Derek Scott, moved up to 3rd place in the polls. Aquinas held onto the 2nd position for what seemed like the entire season.

The national meet showed that the rankings were not too far off as Cornerstone finished a strong 5th and Aquinas finished just back in 6th. The second place team was only 38 points ahead of Aquinas, which made the team battle up front, extremely close. On the individual side of things, Derek Scott led the way for Michigan runners, placing 8th overall. Overall, there were 5 Michigan runners in the top 50.

Outlook for next year’s Michigan NAIA teams:

Cornerstone only graduates 1 from their top 7. That loss is a big one as it is Derek Scott. If you took him out of the mix at this years national meet, they would have scored 100 points more and would have placed 10 places back as a team. Cornerstone has been improving each year so even though they will be losing a really good runner, they won’t faulter too much and should be a top 12 team next year.

Aquinas will be a bit more hit next year compared to Cornerstone. Aquinas loses 4 seniors from this years team and will have quite a large void to fill. Their coaching has been exceptional and they will be in a fight to make the national meet next year.

Sienna Heights will be losing their top guy but they should be on the fringe of making nationals next year if they are able to make some good off-season pickups. They just missed making the national meet this year. They had 2 guys make the national meet this year.

Regional and National Rankings:
http://naia.cstv.com/sports/m-xc/spec-rel/071107aaa.html

National Meet Results:
http://naia.cstv.com/sports/m-xc/spec-rel/080906aaa.html
Top 5 Finishers
1 Aron Rono JR Azusa Pacific 23:52.1
2 Ryan Kienzle SR Malone 24:24.9
3 Noah Too JR MidAmerica Nazar 24:34.7
4 Aaron Melhorn FR Malone 24:44.7
5 Henry Rop FR Union (Tenn.) 24:48.5

Top Michigan Finishers
8 Derek Scott SR Cornerstone 24:57.5
27 Robert Deo SR Siena Heights 25:26.0
29 Zach Ripley SO Cornerstone 25:27.5
40 Chris Robertz SR Aquinas 25:38.8
47 Scott Assenmacher SR Aquinas 25:43.6 Top 6 Teams

1. Malone
2 4 9 20 24 (33) (87) = 59

2. Black Hills St.
8 13 18 69 94 (102)(114) = 202

3. Lindenwood
7 32 36 64 71 (90)(127) = 210

4. Simon Fraser
10 16 41 46 115 (170)(181) = 228

5. Cornerstone
6 22 39 79 89 (107)(138) = 235

6. Aquinas
29 34 48 49 80 (128)(143) = 240
NAIA – Women’s

Even more impressive than the 2 ranked men’s team from Michigan, there were 4 women’s teams starting the preseason off ranked or receiving votes. Spring Arbor led the way in 11th place, Sienna Heights was in 13th, Aquinas was in 19th and Cornerstone was unranked but received 22 votes and just missed the rankings by 3 votes.

Things changed quickly by mid-season as Spring Arbor fell out of the rankings, receiving no votes. Aquinas moved up to 14th place, Cornerstone moved up to 21st place, Sienna Heights moved out of the rankings but still received some votes.

The last rankings served as proof to how screwed up they can be. Spring Arbor was once again back in the polls, all the way up to 13th place. Having a great regional meet will do that, I guess. In addition, Aquinas fell back to 19th pace while Cornerstone and Sienna Heights only received votes but were not ranked.

Only Spring Arbor and Aquinas made the national meet. Spring Arbor finished 12th and Aquinas finished 14th. Sienna Heights had 2 women qualifiers, just like their men’s team. Overall, there were only 2 runners in the top 50 from Michigan colleges.

Outlook for next year’s Michigan NAIA teams:

Aquinas had 3 seniors in their top 7. Don’t expect them to be as strong next year but just like their men’s team, they will be fine as they have excellent coaching.

Spring Arbor had only 1 senior in their top 7 and should make a great run at a top 10 spot.

Sienna Heights and Cornerstone each should fight for a spot into the national meet with Aquinas losing some of their firepower to graduation. Regional and National Rankings:
http://naia.cstv.com/sports/w-xc/spec-rel/071107aaa.html

National Meet Results:
http://naia.cstv.com/sports/w-xc/spec-rel/080906aaa.html Top 5
1 Jaime Canterbury JR Azusa Pacific 17:10.8
2 Jacky Kipwambok FR Azusa Pacific 17:14.5
3 Olivia Johnson FR Northwestern 17:46.5
4 Jessica Smith FR Simon Fraser 17:47.8
5 Charity Miles FR Northwestern 17:49.2

Top 50 Michigan Finishers
15 Amanda Strouse SR Aquinas 18:14.4
20 Joyce Woki SO Spring Arbor 18:17.8 Top 14 Teams

1. Simon Fraser
4 7 13 32 43 (63)(116) = 99

2. Cedarville
11 24 25 28 57 (79)(121) = 145

3. Milligan College
22 26 30 40 45 (52) (62) = 163

4. Malone
18 21 29 42 54 (93)(106) = 164

5. British Columbia
17 33 37 55 85 (103)(130) = 227

6. Azusa Pacific
1 2 41 64 136 (156)(183) = 244

6. Wayland Baptist
20 27 35 73 89 (140)(179) = 244

8. Black Hills St.
9 23 65 66 92 (144)(165) = 255

9. Indiana Tech
31 44 58 71 115 (149)(167) = 319

10. Northwestern (Iowa)
3 5 72 99 155 (169)(174) = 334

11. Biola
10 48 87 88 108 (120)(172) = 341

12. Spring Arbor
16 50 82 91 107 (171)(194) = 346

13. Cal St. San Marcos
46 49 56 67 147 (151)(181) = 365

14. Aquinas
14 69 90 104 118 (128)(143) = 395

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